Zoning board approves new business locations

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 6, 2001

The Natchez Zoning Board of Adjustment approved variances Thursday to allow three new businesses to locate in residential areas.

Against the recommendation of the city planning staff, the board approved a request from Diane Washington to operate a family counseling center in an existing house at 12 Abbott St. The property is zoned multi-family residential.

The board also voted to allow a four-chair beauty salon to operate out of a residence at 1466 George F. West Blvd.

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City Planner David Preziosi said the business is not considered a home occupation, because the applicant, Al J. Thompson Jr., is not the owner of the house and plans to employ other people. Planning staff recommended denial of the variance because of the added traffic it would create in a residential neighborhood and instead suggested the salon have only one-chair.

&uot;To be honest, less than four chairs wouldn’t be worth the trouble,&uot; Thompson told the board.

At the motion of board member Bettye Bell, the board approved the variance with the conditions that four chairs would be the maximum allowed and a sign be limited to four square feet.

The board also approved a variance to allow local businessman Jeff Netterville to operate an office and, in the future, a retail shop out of a house at 63 Homochitto St.

Netterville said he plans to renovate the now-empty house and move his current business into it.

&uot;I’m trying to eliminate an eyesore,&uot; he said.

The board approved the variance with the condition that there be no more than four employees and the sign be limited to four square feet.

Preziosi said he was concerned the board was setting a precedent by allowing businesses to locate in residential areas, while buildings in commercially-zoned districts are left empty.

&uot;We’re getting away from the reason we have a zoning ordinance,&uot; Preziosi said, one of which is to protect the property rights of neighbors.

&uot;As we approve more and more (variances), it becomes difficult to deny any that may not be appropriate,&uot; he said.

Also at the meeting, the board:

— Approved a variance from the rear yard setback requirement for 611 E. Stiers Lane to encroach approximately 10 feet into a 20-foot setback withing the multi-family residential zoning district.

— Approved a variance to allow construction of a single-family residence at 77 St. Catherine St., within the general business zoning district.